The pressure on energy systems is constantly growing: increasing shares of volatile electricity generation, volatile prices for many fossil energy carriers, looming scarcities of fuels and other materials, CO2 taxation and/or trading schemes, rising global demand, political conflicts with higher risks for fuels supply, climate change impacts on energy infrastructure, extreme events and technical risks, shifting demand patterns, societal acceptance issues for large infrastructures, etc.
In view of the inherent unpredictability of many of the above mentioned challenges, the common design paradigm based on average and maximum loads, trend extrapolation, safety margins, and robustness is not sufficient anymore. Important though it is, this design paradigm cannot prepare future energy systems for all the randomness and complexity behind such challenges.
Hence, there is a need for a new design paradigm that focuses on the structural vulnerabilities of energy systems and takes into account the general unpredictability of boundary conditions (natural, technical, economic and social), the increasing number of extreme events and the lack of knowledge concerning socio-political development. The design of future energy systems should thus include a precautionary approach towards dealing with deep uncertainty and reduce the prerequisites in terms of knowledge and predictability.
Considering the above, future energy systems should be designed, aiming towards resilience: maintaining service even under extreme or unpredicted conditions by being robust, yet flexible and adaptive, open for innovation and equipped for improvisation in extreme situations.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2015
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